Do British brands still need to advertise?

Survey finds that consumers are most influenced by impartial online information, ahead of brand advertising and their friends

British consumers have called into question the necessity of advertising for “great brands”, according to research by business creativity consultancy Basic Arts.

95% of respondents to the survey said they agreed with the statement: “I don’t think great brands need to advertise”, with the best businesses gaining maximum exposure through the wealth of impartial information consumers can find online.

Reviews, journalism and other impartial coverage were cited as the top influencers when it came to forming opinions on brands, with friends coming in second and brand-produced advertising and social media channels seen as the least influential.

When asked what drove them to love particular brands, the most popular response from consumers was: “What I know about what they do”.

Alex Smith, head of strategy at Basic Arts, commented: “These results call into question the common orthodoxy of confining brand thinking and creativity to marketing departments and advertising, rather than spreading it over the whole business.

“It appears that in an age of transparency and democratised information, the battleground where businesses will be fighting it out will not be in paid media, but rather within the walls of the business itself.”

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